War Tax Resisters Plan Nationwide “Tax Day” Actions

NWTRCC has turned their list of protests into a nice press release:

In at least 50 communities across the U.S., demonstrations will be held at Internal Revenue Service offices, Federal buildings, post offices, and other public places on , to protest the use of tax dollars to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of these events will include people giving their tax dollars to community groups instead of to the IRS.

Among the actions will be a War Breaks the Budget Tax Day Protest in Tulsa, OK; a Death & Taxes Resistance Festival in Andover, MA; demonstrators will be hanging signs demanding “No Money for War” from the Burnside Bridge during the morning rush in Portland, OR; while others will be out in the evening until the midnight sharing coffee with last-minute filers at post offices in White Plains, NY, and Manchester, NH, and handing out flyers showing where income tax money goes.

Still other protests are making the connections with corporate profiteering from war: “You Pay; Lockheed Martin Profit$” is the slogan for protests in Valley Forge, PA; and taxpayers at the main Baltimore City post office will find mailboxes labeled Halliburton, Bechtel, and Lockheed Martin to mail their checks straight to the corporations.…

Read the complete release for more information and for a coast-to-coast list of U.S. actions.

Meanwhile, the War Resisters League is going straight to the IRS office in New York for its protest. WRL members and supporters will be vigiling and handing out fliers advocating nonpayment of federal taxes as a protest against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The NYC People’s Life Fund will also donate war tax-resisted money to two community groups.”

Martha Baskin has written a piece on tax resisters for The NewStandard — Anti-War Activists Promote “Tax Resistance” As Direct Protest. Some excerpts:

Glen Milner, an electrician and father of three in Seattle, Washington, files his taxes every year. His approach, however, is unusual. On the top of his 1040 form he writes in large print: “Some taxes withheld in protest of funds appropriated for illegal military purposes.”

“What I’m doing,” says Milner, “is telling the IRS right up front that somewhere in the form I’m withholding funds.” He doesn’t tell the agency where the missing funds are, but Milner has filed his taxes in this manner . A conscientious objector during the Vietnam War and an active proponent of US nuclear disarmament, Milner says he is putting his money “where his mouth is.” He cannot resist militarization and war and pay for it at the same time, he says.…

In , [Eddie] Tews… began practicing war tax resistance by refusing to pay the IRS hundreds of dollars annually. Every year, he says, the IRS demands payment by sending him a couple of letters, which he discards. In subsequent years Tews has avoided paying federal taxes altogether by practicing what he calls “W-4 resistance” or adding more exemptions than he’s legally entitled to.

Nevertheless, Tews says the IRS has never audited him. “If I consent to pay more taxes, then more bombs are dropped, more pollution is made and more lives are destroyed; and if I have to suffer some infinitesimal level of consequences as a result of my actions compared to the consequences suffered by other people as a result of [me] consenting to pay my taxes, well to me that’s — it’s not even worth talking about,” he said.…

“The one thing that the US government wants from most average, ordinary people in regards to this war is our money,” says Kathy Kelley, one of the founders of Voices in the Wilderness. “From most of us, they don’t want our lives — we certainly think of those who are being enlisted — but the reality of what the government wants is people to pay for this war and not to ask a lot of questions about it.”

Kelley has been a war tax resister for most of her working life. She says she began by lowering her salary below the taxable income when she taught religion at a Jesuit school in Chicago. When she moved to one of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods on the north side at the height of the arms race between the former Soviet Union and the US, Kelley says she could not talk religion and then turn around and pay for a weapons build-up that could destroy the planet.

“The contradiction was just too much,” she recalled. “I certainly couldn’t take money that my neighbors desperately needed for food, for housing, for a drop-in center, for an alternative school — for so many needs in this impoverished area. I couldn’t say well I don’t have funds because I’m going to put it into buying more weapons.”

She added, “I’m through with buying materials to kill people. Once you make that decision — if you really believe it — you can make it for a lifetime and then it’s possible to withhold all federal income tax.”